Hundreds of people turned out for the Defend Our Constitution rally in Civic Center Park on Saturday afternoon and marched to the First Unitarian Church where Jeanette Vizguerra has taken sanctuary with her three children.
The family will call the church home some unknown period of time while she fights deportation.
Vizguerra has lived in the Denver metro area for two decades as an undocumented immigrant. Earlier this week, she was denied her stay from deportation because she did not attend her scheduled check-in with immigration authorities. She feared she would be arrested anyway if she showed up.
The destination of the march was kept quiet until it happened, and the group, organized by Queen Phoenix, did not have a permit. But the demonstrators proceeded along the sidewalk on 14th Avenue — chanting “not my president,” “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go” and”no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” — without any conflict and with police following along in the streets.
On the steps of First Unitarian, Vizguerra, flanked by her children, addressed the crowd in Spanish and with the help of a translator.
“We need to change this, because just like everyone else, I am part of this community,” she said. “… I was labeled a criminal simply because my stickers weren’t right, because I used the wrong number which gave me my identity.”
She thanked the church, led the crowd in chants of “unity, not hate,” reminded elected officials that they serve the people and accepted donations for her own legal battle and those of others.
“I want them to know the reason why I’m fighting,” she said. “I’m fighting for these three amazing, beautiful children. That’s my reason.”